Role of transport during outbreak of infectious diseases: Evidence from the past
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The outbreak of infectious diseases affects people's lifestyles significantly, as they undertake fewer outdoor activities as a protective measure and to follow government orders of restricted movements. This paper reviewed the scientific literature related to transport and infectious diseases to gain insights into managing such circumstances. The outcomes indicate that the transport sector has a two-fold role during the outbreak of infectious diseases: controlling the spread of infection and assessing the impact of reduced outdoor activities on the transport sector. It was found that local and international travel restrictions, if applied at the initial stages, are effective in controlling the spread of infectious disease; at a later stage, behavioral changes become prominent in limiting the spread. Further, the outbreaks resulted in a significant reduction in mobility, altering traffic patterns with lower peaks and improving traffic safety. The public transport mode share reduced considerably and people preferred cars and active modes. These changes also showed positive impacts on air pollution and water pollution. Further, the air transport and tourism sector were noted to be the hardest hit and will recover slowly. The outcomes from the review will be useful for planners and administrators in managing future emergency conditions better.
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